COVID-19: Saskatchewan Brings Back Mandatory Masks, Proof of Vaccination Coming Oct 1
Premier Scott Moe has said the decision of the unvaccinated population is behind the fourth wave of COVID-19 and Saskatchewan will no longer wait to move forward.
Ahead of Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing, he announced via Facebook that new measures would arrive in the province to fight the fourth wave.
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As of Friday, September 17, a public health order will reinstate mandatory masking for all interior public spaces in Saskatchewan. Government officials have said the order is expected to be lifted by the end of October, by which time full proof of vaccination or a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test will have been fully implemented.
According to the government, indoor athletics for young people will be exempt from the masking order for those under the age of 18 when they are actively engaged in a sporting activity.
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Moe also said all employees in Saskatchewan government departments, crowns and agencies will need to be vaccinated, with full proof of vaccination required by Oct. 1. He added that employees will be required to provide consistent proof of negative test if they are unable. provide proof of vaccination.
A provincial requirement for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test will also be implemented on October 1 for public access to several establishments, businesses and event venues that include:
- eat indoors in restaurants;
- nightclubs, bars, taverns and other approved establishments;
- event and entertainment venues, including conference centers, casinos, cinemas, concert halls, concert halls, museums and indoor facilities hosting paid sporting events; and
- indoor fitness centers and gymnasiums.
The government has stated that proof of vaccination will not be required for the following cases:
- retail businesses, including grocery stores;
- places of worship;
- fast food restaurants offering take out and delivery meals;
- health care services, professional services or personal services;
- hotels or other accommodation;
- non-ticketed amateur sporting facilities, including youth track and field leagues and recreational leagues;
- business meetings and places of business closed to the general public, unless otherwise specified by the company or the employer; and
- private gatherings organized in a covered public residence.
Children under 12 are exempt from proof of vaccination or negative test, according to government officials.
Moe said Saskatchewan’s verifiable vaccination record will be launched the week of September 20 and protocols regarding proof of negative testing requirements are currently under development.
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Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili said Moe announced “long overdue measures.”
“The official opposition called for this kind of leadership weeks ago,” Meili’s statement read.
“We are all united in our desire for the pandemic to be over. But Scott Moe claims it’s been over since July. He took the summer, but not COVID-19. Scott Moe ignored the role models and advice of his own government. He ignored the increasingly desperate voices of ordinary people, teachers, doctors and nurses, pandemic leaders and medical officers across the province.
“Copying Jason Kenney’s ‘too small, too late’ plan is not leadership. And a prime minister who always acts last – if at all – is not a leader. The people of Saskatchewan deserve so much better than the arrogance and inaction of Scott Moe… The Prime Minister must apologize, show remorse and take concrete action. Otherwise, it is time for him to resign.
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Earlier today, the Prime Minister said the government has been patient in providing the possibility and access to vaccination, but that patience has now ended.
“Unlike previous waves, this pandemic wave is almost entirely fueled by a group made up of approximately 20-30% of our population, those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated. The new cases are mostly unvaccinated people, ”said Moe.
“The time for patience is now over, the choice not to get vaccinated not only affects you, it now seriously affects those who did the right thing. And this is now having a serious impact on those who cannot get vaccinated, our children, and it is extending the pandemic for everyone.
“The choice not to be vaccinated has consequences for others. And I would say that very soon it will create consequences for those who have made the decision to remain unvaccinated.
The Saskatchewan scorecard on Thursday showed 218 COVID-19 hospital patients, 4,064 active cases and the total number of deaths increased by one to 630.
The province’s seven-day average of new daily infections hit a new high of 438 from 416 on Wednesday.
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